An all-star lineup of Crunchable writers is teaming up with the Rose O’Neill Literary House and the Washington College Writers’ Union for an event at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, that’s not quite like anything we’ve done before.
We’re commemorating Crunchable’s 11th birthday, not to mention the start of the academic year, with a gathering we’re calling “The Crunchable Colloquium: A Reading, Conversation, & Celebration” at Washington College in Chestertown, Md.
We’ll start off with a reading by several Crunchable contributors who also happen to be Washington College alumni: Molly Weeks Crumbley, Mike Meagher, Annie Woodall, Kevin Brotzman, Melissa Pasterkiewicz Reddish, Stephanie Fowler, and me. And then we’ll open up the floor to a roundtable discussion, moderated by the student leadership of the Writers’ Union, about how one makes the time and space to be a writer in this strange “real” world that exists beyond graduation.
Also, there will be food. And did I mention that it’s free and open to the public?
As many Crunchable readers know, this site grew directly out of our experiences at Washington College. Specifically, in 2001 my old roommate Chris Klimas was graduating and ceasing to be the editor of the on-campus magazine The Collegian, but it didn’t make sense to him that he and his friends should stop writing and editing just because they had diplomas. Thus, the site was born.
So if we were ever to celebrate an anniversary anywhere, it ought to be in Chestertown. And that’s just what we did to mark Crunchable’s decennial last year, when quite a few of us trucked back to Chestertown for an off-campus reading (also a joint event with the Writers’ Union) at the Bookplate, a lovely bookstore and rare-book-seller in town.
In the weeks before that event I had also approached Literary House Director Jehanne Dubrow about doing an official event at the Lit House, the epicenter of Washington College’s writing culture and an old haunt for many of us. Though she loved the idea, it immediately became apparent this was not something we could throw together in just a few weeks. So we continued talking, agreed upon a date for 2012 and figured out a format that would incorporate some of the best aspects of the 2011 reading along with a seminar element that (we hope) could prove useful to students — while also being a lot of fun.
If you’ll be anywhere near Maryland’s lovely Eastern Shore, we hope to see you there!
By the way, for those wondering what’s up with Crunchable in general:
My initial plan had been to put the site on hiatus for six months or so while I worked on a redesign, then come roaring back. Obviously, that hasn’t happened; suffice it to say that my personal and professional lives conspired to make Crunchable a comparatively low priority.
But I still hope to finish up this redesign in time to relaunch the site in January. And in the meantime, I’m talking with Crunchable writers and working on plans to put the band back together, so we can get some great writing up here on a regular basis between now and the relaunch.